This book is an earlier incarnation of what is now "How Harry Cast His Spell." I discovered it a few years ago as I was doing research on the Potter bThis book is an earlier incarnation of what is now "How Harry Cast His Spell." I discovered it a few years ago as I was doing research on the Potter books, and it expanded my mind in so many ways and opened me up to a whole new way of understanding literature. It covers the books up through Half-Blood Prince....more
A decent book. In terms of actual history he buys into the "the foundering fathers were deists not Christians" nonsense and says some funky things aboA decent book. In terms of actual history he buys into the "the foundering fathers were deists not Christians" nonsense and says some funky things about the Civil War (though on the other hand he is more measured in some respects also, admitting problems on both sides). Mostly the study of judgement in the book was far too short, spanning the middle three chapters and was nothing more than a whirlwind sprint through the Bible's teaching on the subject, one chapter for OT, one for NT, and one for the defense of the idea that God still judges in history. For this more space was clearly needed. It was fine so far as it went, but it didn't go nearly far enough. In his defense of God judging the nations in history in the NT, he neglects what is the most basic text proving this: 1 Cor. 15:25: "For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet." He does well in mentioning Psalm 2 for the OT, but not this verse (or any of the other verses in the NT which also quote or allude to this idea), which seems to me to be a staggering oversight.
As an introduction to the issue of God judging in history today, the book is solid and good. His historical readings are when things get a little funky, but then I think we both agree that the Civil War, for instance, was a judgement and a judgment on slavery (among other things). Where we differ is how we interpret the events themselves....more
Brilliant. One quibbles with Kuyper occasionally, but broadly speaking a necessary and vital book, one that will challenge and provoke Biblical thinkiBrilliant. One quibbles with Kuyper occasionally, but broadly speaking a necessary and vital book, one that will challenge and provoke Biblical thinking. Mighty fine....more
What a marvelous, fantastic book. Leithart argues that baptism elevates the person baptized to the level of priest, and not just priest, but to the ofWhat a marvelous, fantastic book. Leithart argues that baptism elevates the person baptized to the level of priest, and not just priest, but to the office of High Priest (on account of us being able to, through Christ, enter into the Holy of Holies). He examines the typology of the ordination rite of the Aaronic and Levitical priests and compares it to what the NT has to say about baptism, and shows that to Paul and Peter and John's minds baptism fulfills the ordination to priesthood. He looks at the fact that the entire families of the Levitical priests were able to eat the priestly portion of the sacrifices to argue for a typological basis for infant baptism (just as baptism ordains one for priesthood, it carries the whole household in with you) and an astonishingly powerful foundation for paedo-communion. He also examines the history of sacramental theology and shows a strong semi-Marcionite trend in understanding the sacraments, and reframes the whole debate, and likely the trajectory of that issue for years to come.
He shows that baptism was understood by the NT (focusing on Galatians) as removing the divide between priest/non-priest, between Jew and Gentile, and that later sacramental developments in Roman Catholic theology reintroduced this priest/non-priest divide by separating the people from the alter, and then from the wine, and then eventually from the whole Eucharistic rite itself. Wonderful stuff. Not only have his critics not really understood his point about the sacraments, but from reading this book and from reading their interactions with it, it appears they are completely out-matched. This just blew me out of the water.
A word of warning, however. It is Leithart's Cambridge PhD dissertation, so it is thick. I had to limit myself to a chapter or less every day, because by the time you're done, you feel overwhelmed. The sheer amount of information he has been able to internalize is just staggering....more